Nothing done about contraceptives. The go-ahead has been postponed gratuity. Il board of Aifa (drug agency) chaired by the virologist George Palu indeed he asked “insights» to the two technical committees that had prepared the investigation, the technical-scientific one coordinated by Patrizia Popoli and the one on prices headed by Giovanna Scroccaro.
“There are no essential elements to deliberate» is the conclusion, because «precise indications on the age groups which to grant the pill for free, the distribution mode eh costs».
So the decision is postponed and, given the timing of the meetings, it won’t be discussed again before the summer, if all goes well. The decision to make the purchase of the pill free for all women was taken by the two groups of technicians on April 24, with an estimated cost of around 140 million. Several members of the parliamentary majority did not like it.
Now the board of directors, which they were supposed to ratify, slow down the journey by asking the technicians of the agency, directed as acting by Anna Rosa Marra, to clarify some points. First if in the spending forecasts account was taken of the hypothesis that once the drug was made reimbursable it would be used by a higher number of Italian women than at present and that therefore the burden on the state would growa phenomenon that may have occurred in other countries.
Another in-depth question concerns the willingness of the manufacturing companies to accept the passage of their products (89 selected packs in all divided into three classes) from the band C, not covered by the public health serviceat the A, the refunded one. A third point to verify is whether the expected expenditure would change if contraceptives were distributed in consultants rather than in pharmacies, as occurs in Tuscany, Emilia Romagna and Lazio. Finally, notes the board of directors, has the possibility been considered of restricting free admission to women in economically disadvantaged conditions or to young women aged between 19 and 26, as occurs in some foreign countries and in six Italian regions?
There is a procedural hitch: the failure to approve Aifa’s 2022 activity plan by the State-Regions conference. In the programmatic document the free of charge of the pill had been inserted but then the Ministry of Health then administered by Robert HopeDraghi government, withdrew it.
How long will that take to provide these answers? Scroccaro: «The search for data on other countries on the probable increase in pill consumption after the introduction of free it will take time even if not infinite. We bear in mind that the committees meet once a month». It seemed to you that the referral is based on spurious remarks? “No, I think they were timely observations. The Board did not find this information in the papers. The file needs to be completed.”
There doesn’t seem to be any intention of hurrying, given the controversy of last April. Replying to a parliamentary question presented by Luana Zanella, of the Green-Left Alliance, the minister for relations with the parliament Luca Ciriani replied that «the question of the compatibility of the financial stability of the choices made in the pharmaceutical sector appears unavoidable due to the impact on the relative expense borne by National Health Fundestimated at 140 million euros.
In conclusion, the assessments and insights that the AIFA Board of Directors are called to carry out are aimed at ensuring that the technical choice carried out by the advisory Commissions is in line with the programmed ceiling of pharmaceutical expenditure and does not contribute to any breakthrough of the same”.